Archives of American Gardens Research Access

The Archives of American Gardens (AAG) aims to play a vital role in the documentation of America's garden history. In this capacity, AAG serves the needs of researchers, historians, preservationists, designers, students, and other interested members of the public by preserving relevant images and records and making them available for research use and publication. It welcomes all inquiries related to this meaningful aspect of the nation's cultural history.

Online Access

AAG is involved in ongoing efforts to process and catalog both existing images in the archives and new images that are added to the collections on a regular basis. As a result, only a portion of the holdings are currently available for review on the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) online database. Images and documents not on the Internet can be viewed at the Archives of American Gardens by appointment only.

Research Appointments

Requests for appointments must be submitted in writing and include the researcher's professional or academic affiliation, the scope and purpose of the intended research, and specific information about the request including garden name and location, owner, designer, and/or garden features being researched. Requests can be submitted via email to or the mailing address below.

Please note that because many AAG holdings are stored off-site, appointments must be scheduled with enough lead-time factored in to allow staff sufficient time to retrieve specific items related to your request.

Prior to scheduling a research appointment, researchers are strongly encouraged to access relevant AAG catalog records available through the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) at This step will give researchers a sense of the scope of the collection and enable them to refine their request as needed. See Searching SIRIS for further details.

Visiting researchers will be asked to register and review all AAG user policies when they arrive for an appointment.

Reference Room Hours: 10 A. M. to 4:00 P. M. Monday-Friday, by appointment only.

Location: The Archives is located in the Capital Gallery Building, Suite 3300, 600 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C., 20024. Capital Gallery is one block south of the National Mall on the corner of Maryland Avenue and 7th Street. There is an entrance to the L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station just outside the building, the Archives is on the third floor.

Parking: Limited on-street parking and nearby commercial lots.


Telephone: (202) 633-5840

Mailing Address: Smithsonian Gardens, Archives of American Gardens, P.O. Box 37012, Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, MRC 506, Washington, DC 20013-7012

Image Reproduction Services & Fees

AAG provides limited reprographic services for a fee. The pricing below is for digital scans of images. Other formats are subject to a different fee schedule.

Low-resolution (for quick reference; suitable for web or Power Point presentation use) - First 3 are free. $15 per subsequent image.

High-resolution (suitable for publication and exhibition use)- $30 per image.

Plans or oversized materials and rush orders- $60 per image.

Before an order can be processed, researchers must submit a completed Image Duplication and Permission Request Form. Payment is required in advance. Orders take up to two to four weeks to process. Please note that AAG does not accept credit cards. Payment must be received by check, money order or wire transfer. Rush orders are subject to an additional fee.

Any copy provided to or obtained by a researcher should not itself be reproduced or transferred to any other person or institution without the written permission of AAG.

Permission to Publish & Use Fees

Permissions to use Archives of American Gardens' holdings for publication purposes (books, articles, exhibits, websites, blogs, commercial endeavors, etc.) must be submitted in writing to AAG and submit a Permission to Publish Application Form. AAG holdings have been obtained from numerous sources and are intended primarily for research and educational purposes, certain records may be protected by copyright or other related interests not owned by the Smithsonian Institution. AAG will review all publication requests it receives on a case-by-case basis to determine whether or not it can grant permission to publish.

Use fees may apply depending on planned use, print run, project type, and copyright status of images. Archives staff will determine any use fees based on the final list of images supplied by applicant in writing. Waivers of fees are made at the discretion of Archives staff and may apply to scholarly or non-profit publications with a limited audience or publications focused primarily on the Archives of American Gardens.

Fees are for one-time, non-exclusive use of an image. Re-use of the material in a later edition or in another publication or format will be considered a new request.

Copyright Statement and Credit Line

Because AAG holdings have been obtained from numerous sources, certain records may be protected by copyright or other related interests not owned by the Smithsonian Institution.

Unless there is a specific Smithsonian Institution copyright involved, the burden of determining copyright status and permissions falls on the researcher. Researchers are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions from the photographer, garden owner, and/or any other rights holder before reproducing or publishing any material from AAG.

The Archives of American Gardens encourages the reproduction of archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under fair use as defined by copyright law. Information on United States copyright fair use law is available from the United States Copyright Office: Please acknowledge the Archives of American Gardens as the source of these materials whenever they are reproduced.

It is also expected that researchers give full and proper credit to the Archives of American Gardens as their source of any relevant quotations and citations, and to cite those sources completely so that others may refer to them easily.

Researchers are required to use the following credit line when citing or publishing records from AAG.

Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, [Collection Name].

Select Garden History Resources & Organizations

cbhl logo

Council of Botanical and Horticulture Libraries (CBHL) is an international organization of individuals, organizations and institutions concerned with the development, maintenance and use of libraries of botanical and horticultural literature.

Botany and Horticulture Library, Smithsonian Institution (The Horticulture Branch Library was established in 1984 as a research support resource for the Smithsonian Gardens. The Library evolved from a small office collection that was begun in the early 1970s. Since that time, this collection has been enhanced by the donation of several large gifts. An acquisition in 1984 of more than 150 American titles on landscape design dating from the 19th- and early 20th-centuries has become the foundation of a growing collection the subject.)

The Cultural Landscape Foundation - Pioneers of American Landscape Design (A resource chronicling the lives and careers of those who have designed gardens, parks, streets, campuses, cemeteries, suburbs, and the innumerable other environments in which we live. Includes biographical profiles, oral histories, and print publications.)

Foundation for Landscape Studies (Initiates collaborative projects with other organizations, institutions, and individuals that promote and advance landscape history and historic landscape design, theory and practice.)

Southern Garden History Society (Makes available resources on Southern garden and landscape history, historic horticulture, and the preservation of historic gardens and landscapes in the South.)